Olá, e bem-vindos!
T-minus six hours to kick-off for the 2014 World Cup. Follow our live blog for news, images, action and results from Brazil. Your journalist on duty is David Poort from the Al Jazeera English news desk.
I'll be updating this blog for the next couple of hours until my colleague Faras Ghani from the sports desk takes over.
May the best team win (which will be the Netherlands).
Here we go!
Let me introduce some of our correspondents in Brazil:
Lucia Newman in Rio de Janeiro - @lucianewman
Paul Rhys in Belo Horizonte - @PaulRhys_Sport
Gabriel Elizondo in Sao Paulo - @elizondogabriel
Lee Wellings in Rio de Janeiro - @LeeW_Sport
Jillian Kestler D'Amours in Sao Paulo - @jkdamours
The EU has launched a campaign against the sexual exploitation of children during the World Cup, with the backing of local football stars Kaka and Juninho Pernambucano.
The campaign, dubbed "Don't Look Away", was announced just hours before the opening match kick-off.
Brazilian authorities are worried the influx of football-mad fans, also looking for a taste of the country's storied nightlife, will bring an increase in sex tourism and child prostitution. AFP
Security is tight around the Arena Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo ahead of the official launch of the World Cup in which host Brazil is facing Croatia in about 5 hours from now.
Update from our man Gabe on the ground:
For those unlucky ones sitting and watching from the couch (or your office desk), this is the time to stack up the fridge.
Tell us how you'll be watching the opening ceremony and the first match by tweeting @AJE_Sport
Speaking on stacking up the fridge, our correspondent Lee Wellings brings us this important update:
Ladies and gentlemen, the opening ceremony of Brazil 2014 is well and truly underway.
And we can confirm that news of J Lo NOT being at the opening ceremony was not true. She will be there.
In just under 90 minutes though, the football action will start. Me and Vivian Diaz will break off all ties with the world until July 13.
Opening game of Brazil 2014 is under a hour away and we have team news:
Brazil - Cesar, D Alves, T Silva, D Luiz, Marcelo, Paulinho, L Gustavo, Hulk, Oscar, Fred and that man Neymar
Croatia - Pletikosa, Srna, Corluka, Lovren, Vrsaljko, Modric, Rakitic, Perisic, Brozovic, Olic and Jelavic
Some good news for France fans:
France striker Olivier Giroud and centre-half Laurent Koscielny have been
cleared to take part in Thursday's training session after sitting out the
previous day's practice to have some physio
Brazil get the first shot on goal of the World Cup but an Olic header goes inches wide at the other end. The sea of yellow inside the stadium stopped breathing for a second...
They really have stopped breathing now. Croatia SCORE thanks to a Marcelo own-goal.
Brazil 0 - 1 Croatia (10 mins)
Some reckon Brazil have as good a chance as any to lift the trophy because of their squad. Others think it's just home advantage:
Do you agree?
Another first for Brazil 2014: a penalty as Fred is deemed to have been fouled in the box. The result: Neymar's second!
Brazil 2 - 1 Croatia (71 mins)
The 90 minutes are up but Brazil's not finished yet. A counter-attack and Brazil score their third goal through Oscar's strike. Still have time for one more. Maybe two...
Brazil 3 - 1 Croatia
A very good morning to all football aficionados and samba enthusiasts alike. It's Andrew Binner (apologies to David Poort's followers) to take you through until the afternoon. Thank you to Faras for his updates on everything from football to patriotic pets in Brazil!
Let's get started with a quick rundown of what is happening at the World Cup today:
Group A: Mexico V Cameroon
Group B: Spain V Netherlands
Group C: Chile V Australia
I will keep you up-to-date with all the latest action on and off the pitch, and perhaps most importantly Mr. Poort's reactions as his beloved Netherlands take on the top seeds...
Croatia coach Niko Kovac has launched a tirade against Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura, who oversaw his side's lost 3-1 to Brazil in the World Cup opener:
"I must say the referee was completely out of his depth. If someone’s not up to scratch to referee the first game then find someone else. Two-and-a-half billion people saw this wasn’t a penalty."
I must say it did look like a soft decision but with a minimum of 40,000 Brazilians in most stadiums putting pressure on the referee, the opposition can expect to lose a few 50-50 decions this tournament.
However many fans are choosing to recognise the part Croatia played in a dramatic opening World Cup match. The men in red and white checks put in a strong performance regardless of the result.
To follow on Faras' trend of seeking out Brazil's best canine fans, here is a gem that bares a remarkable resemblance to a famous face in the world of hip-hop...